Choice Of Games Interview
Choice Of Games finally got back to me about the interview so here it is, enjoy.
Original post: http://indiegraph.wordpress.com/2012/07/27/choice-of-games/
1.) Mind telling us about yourselves and the partnership? How did this all start? Was there some form of inspiration?
Dan and Jason met the first day of eighth grade; Dan and Adam met at Yale. Dan’s first job out of college was working for Jason at a video store in Berkeley; we ran a live-action Vampire RPG by night.
Around this time, Dan discovered Alter Ego, which came out on the Commodore 64 in 1986; he ported it to the web, running it on a PC out of his closet, and promptly forgot about it for about seven years. Dan became a programmer, Adam became a lawyer, and Jason went into the fashion industry.
Dan checked in on his server in 2008 to find that the site was getting tens of thousands of hits a day.
Sensing an opportunity, Dan decided to develop ChoiceScript, and teamed up with Adam to write Choice of the Dragon, our first game. When we were done with that, Dan and Adam started on Choice of Broadsides with Heather Albano. It was at that point that Dan finally convinced Jason to write Choice of the Vampire; we’ve been working together ever since.
2.) What do you think makes text-based games so special?
Games are about decision-making. ChoiceScript boils that down to its essence, presenting the reader with a choice, and giving them options. Each of the options has its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to the reader to decide what’s most important. We at Choice of Games are very interested in that process of decision-making, and that is the crux of our project.
3.) What opportunities are in store for developers?
The main way we feel that we can benefit ChoiceScript authors is to develop more ways to pay them for their work. For example, in-app purchasing (IAP) has been a big hit for us, but it’s currently only available on iOS and Android. We have a desktop app in Google’s Chrome Web Store, but Google doesn’t support payments in all countries. We’d like to develop a high-quality desktop app experience for Windows, Mac, and Linux that supports IAP in as many countries as possible. We’d also like to explore allowing players to access IAP in other ways: watching a video, answering survey questions, accepting trial offers, etc.
Beyond that, we’ve got some ideas to make it even easier to develop games in ChoiceScript, and share them with others online.
4.) Do you believe text-based games/adventures could ever come back commercially?
Absolutely. This is the day of interactivity. People want to engage with their media, rather than just consume it.
5.) Where did the stats idea in some games of yours come from?
The idea of character statistics has been around since Dungeons and Dragons in the 1970s, and war games before that, but it was Alter Ego that showed us that stats could solve the old problem of “combinatorial explosion” in multiple-choice stories.
6.) Any parting thoughts?
We’re hiring writers! http://www.choiceofgames.com/looking-for-writers/ Authors with published works to their name can apply to write and publish a game with us; we’re paying thousands of dollars in advance.
PS: Make sure to check out Eerie Estate Agent!
Thanks for your time.
More on ChoiceScript and publishing your game: http://www.choiceofgames.com/make-your-own-games/choicescript-intro/
Official site with game info and more: http://www.choiceofgames.com/
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nathan. He prefers his last name not to be known. He’s probably a high-class superspy, but we don’t mind. He is the editor of Indiegraph. He’s our point man for interviews, and occasionally he takes a blowtorch to a game to see whether it measures up to his standards.